Surgical intervention on cranes helped Central Railways transport them

Updated: 25 December, 2019 07:47 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Workers removed the wheels along with the tyres of two 75-tonne cranes to transport them through narrow tunnels to the affected site

The Railways did some good old jugaad to position the cranes at the affected site
The Railways did some good old jugaad to position the cranes at the affected site

The Central Railway on Tuesday said restoration work on the Mumbai-Pune line between the Monkey Hill-Nagnath section will be completed shortly as work on girder-launching has been completed, much before the target of January 15. The railways said they will restore a few trains in the next week.

This was made possible thanks to two 75-tonne cranes, which were transported to the tricky section.

After racking its brains over how to take the two cranes to the Monkey Hill-Nagnath section, which was washed away on October 3, Central Railway finally managed it by tweaking the structure of the machines so that they could be transported through the narrow tunnels that lead to the section.

A senior official said, "Reaching the site was difficult, as it is located between two tunnels with a deep ravine on one side and a high hillock on the other. The only way we could transport the crucial items was through the rail route."

"After the bridge girders were readied at the Manmad Rail Workshop, they were transported to Lonavala on December 10. But before that, it was important to take the cranes there. The question was how to fit the cranes in the approach tunnels. They were very high and touched overhead wires," he added. "After thinking a lot, we deflated the tyres. But this did not work. Then we conducted a minor surgery and took off the wheels and tyres, only after which, they could be transported through the tunnels," he said. The girders were then transported to the spot. After the rail line on the Monkey Hill-Nagnath section wa washed away the Railways tried to temporarily fix it. But then they decided to find a permanent solution by removing the settled portion and extending the existing bridge.

The transported girders laid on site
The transported girders laid on site

Matheran line fixed

Central Railway on Tuesday announced that it will open the section between Matheran and Aman Lodge soon. Chief Public Relations Officer Shivaji Sutar said, "The track between Aman Lodge-Matheran has been made fit. After taking empty train trials, shuttle services between Aman Lodge-Matheran will resume shortly. An update on the date of service will be available after the trial."

This year's monsoon has ravaged the line like never before with no trains uphill at Matheran even to ply locally between Matheran and Aman Lodge stations. There is complete damage at 21 locations, washing away the rail tracks.

Oct 3
Day the section of the Mum-Pune rail line was washed away

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First Published: 25 December, 2019 07:18 IST

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